Many family members and friends have an idea that something is ‘off’ with a loved one when they become addicted. You may not know precisely what is going on, but that little internal voice will nag you about it. Unfortunately, I am so good at putting on the “Life Is Wonderful” mask, that no one in my family knew. Not my husband. Not my kids. Not my parents. And at the time, we all lived together, so we saw each other every single day. The fact that they had no clue, I believe, led them to being a little more frantic once my addiction, treatment and legal issues were explained to them.
As hypocritical as this may sound, I was very aware of what I was putting my family through. That was so very hard to accept and deal with daily. Yet I was NOT expecting the number of so called “professionals” who were just waiting for that ‘frantic’ family so they could, in the end, profit from it financially. (Understand when I say professional, I’m referring to legally certified, licensed and state approved members of both the legal and medical communities!)
After I had begun treatment, I was still dealing with several legal issues. This particular issue was one of the more minor instances. It was going to hurt financially, but it wasn’t something I was going to have to worry about doing time for. But the financial portion was substantial. I guess to get a better understanding of what could happen, what the probable outcome would be, my parents chose to meet with an attorney (who I knew nothing about, had never met before) to get some of their questions answered.
By the end of this meeting, this attorney (I checked afterwards, he was a licensed and state certified)had my parents all but convinced that I had not entered treatment. I was not just addicted to opioids but to meth as well and I was still using meth. He preached to them that they needed to wipe their hands clean of me and my evil ways, kick me out of their house and either convince me to give them my kids or take me to court.
Now let me make this perfectly clear. This man had never met me. Never laid eyes on me. Never spoken to me. Did not represent me at any point and was literally an attorney they found from a Google search. When I called to confront him afterwards, he didn’t even know about my case that my parents had gone there with questions about. What pissed me off more than anything was that he came to this conclusion after asking my parents a handful of questions, to the extent of: Did I regularly stay up late, with little sleep? Could I be a real bitch at times? And did I have dental issues? All of which, in truth, they could answer yes to.
Thankfully, my mom had a quick realization that put a wrench in his line of theory. Yes, I have problems sleeping and I am a night owl. Yes, when in the right situation, I am not simply “a bitch” I can be “The Bitch” and yes, I ended up having to have $7,000 worth of dental procedures that I paid for out of pocket. But my mom pointed out that if she followed his line of logic, I must have been born a meth addict, because I was a little bitch the day I was born. I’ve been a night owl with issues sleeping since my early teens and the dental issues they knew came from severely chronic sinus issues that went years without being treated properly. All of which were issues that were well known by the time I was in 10th grade.
Unfortunately, this was not the only situation like this we faced. I have had more than my fair share of physicians who, while they were under the belief that I had private insurance, thought I needed all sorts of long term therapy. I’ve had doctors tell me that I would need (and this was before the addiction part) in-patient physical therapies, etc until, again, they found out that I either did not have any insurance at the time or did not have private insurance. Then, suddenly, I was well! Come to think of it, my problems probably would be just fine if I took “x” pill at home.
For family and friends of someone facing this battle, it is a very hard place to be in. I have little doubt you will have days where you wonder what you did to deserve dealing with this. For anyone in a similar position, I will always support you going to get information to educate yourself. Just please, PLEASE, do not make any one decision based off of a conversation with any professional who is giving you direction involving someone they have never met. In my opinion, the more people you speak with that have no true connection to one another, the better off you’ll be. Sometimes the truth about situations can be very painful. So before you go asking questions, make sure you’re willing, and able, to hear the truth.
As always, if anyone has any type of question that you’d like to ask me, I have no limits as long as the questions are sincere. There is no such thing as a sincere, dumb question. Fire away! I’m extremely open minded and there’s very little left in the world that can shock me!
Take care of yourselves and I wish you all the best of luck!